Fidelity Bank’s SME Funding Connect Holds Today


Hamid Ayodeji

Fidelity Bank Plc has once more announced its planned collaboration with PwC Nigeria to empower small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

In view of this, the bank revealed that its SMEs Funding Connect Forum will take place in Lagos today. At the forum, the bank would offer grant of up to N2 million to the SME operator that would present the best business plan.

In addition, its collaboration with PwC would also see to it that business owners that attend the forum are provided mentorship privileges as well as other capacity building initiatives.

The Regional Bank Head, Yaba Surulere Region, Chetachi Ezenagu, who featured on the Fidelity SME Forum, monitored on Inspiration FM Radio, Lagos, yesterday, pointed out that the forum would provide a platform for networking and interaction, adding that participating SMEs would have access to fund providers, mentors and entrepreneurs who would tell the participants how and what to do in order to have access to funds for their business, professionals from various sectors of business.

Ezenagu, who said the bank would unveil some products at the venue, explained: “The first of the products we are going to be launching tomorrow is the Fidelity Business Plus Account, and the second is the Trader Support Facility.

“As a result of our continuous supports to SMEs we have been able to study the terrain and come up with these products that would suit entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

“The Fidelity Business Plus Account is a low cost business account for SMEs. SMEs need to keep their costs at the lowest rate as they newly start up.

“It is also embedded with a free sage accounting software that would enable the account owner to automate and optimise their business transactions, balance their books and control their business processes on the go, as some of its features include, record keeping, account reconciliation, invoicing, payroll management, profit and loss balance sheet generation, online payments and transfers, business analytics.

“The second product which we would be launching tomorrow is the Trader Support Finance, this is a tenured loan produced to address the short term financing needs of trading customers of Fidelity bank who operate their businesses in some selected clusters.”

On his part, the Group Head, Strategy and Corporate Transformation, Bank of Industry, Yinka Adegboye said, “Most SMEs in Sub Saharan Africa are highly unstructured so it is difficult for a financial institution to analyse their need and make a decision on their request for finance.

“SMEs also face issues such as lack of bankable business plan, thus, for a financial institution it is vital to have some data for analysing so as to be equipped to make effect and efficient decisions toward providing funds.

“In sub Saharan Africa, it is common to meet a lot of people with business ideas but they find it difficult to draft a business plan that fund providers can work with, which is why a lot of SMEs within this region struggle for funding.”